View Full Version : Tactics: Vertical climb till stall?

12-06-2009, 01:42 PM

I've been flying IL2 for ages, but the tactics I use are usually completely intuitive, and I haven't literally studied WWII air combat. Ok, isn't that just enough for the background =D

One thing that has been bugging me out for a long time is vertical tactics; when they should be used, and especially the behaviour AI fighters quite often perform; the near 90 degrees climb until stall. Usually I just blow them out to pieces when they're on top of the climb with zero speed, but sometimes, they climb a bit higher than me, I just can't hit and I stall earlier and after a couple of "controlled spin manouvers" I end up diving the darn AI on my tail, and I think this is excatly the purpose of the manouver?

The question: Do you EVER do that yourself? With a good climber/light plane i.e 109?

I usually don't, I tend to avoid climbing whenever the opponent is close enough to score some hits, and usually just split-S the h*** out of there. (a couple of times online, when REALLY desperate, I've climbed directly to the sun, cut the throttle and after a couple of barrel rolls, ended up on the opponet's tail, but that's about that)

So what about you? Ideas for vertical manouvers/tactics? Educate me, please =D


12-06-2009, 02:08 PM
if your positive you have enough energy to go high enough to avoid the enemy rounds before they stall its a good maneuver. its called the hammerhead meneuver and the purpose is to use your superior energy to turn the fight from being chased to chasing the enemy. when you stall you should hit full rudder and slight opposite ailron (but dont move the elevator or you will spin) this should bring you around to come bearing down on your adversary.

it is a good tactic if the enemy follows you but is unable to hit you, however you are an easy target when you are on the top and you will present other enemies with an easy target.

12-06-2009, 02:18 PM
Well much like you I've used the vertical to get away but if the opponent is too close or is closing fast I found my plane getting lit up pretty quickly.

Get familiar with the Vx and Vy of different planes and it will also cue you into vertical limits and when using a shallower climb might be more effective than using a steeper one (visa verse).


12-06-2009, 02:21 PM
What kalle said. I've found myself using it more and more, since one thing that many don't realize is that you don't have to stall after the other guy, you just have to perform the actual hammerhead after him. If the other pilot isn't used to flying at full throttle at less than 100kmh IAS, it's actually fairly easy. You'll see them follow you up, and then start tumbling long before you do.

As for which planes, I've found that the 190D is what I'm best at with this tactic, but obviously you need to practice.

Also, as mentioned, don't ever do it when there are any enemies that would be in position to engage you on the level when you're at the top of your arc. It's the easiest shot in the game.

12-06-2009, 02:28 PM
The flying properties of aircraft in the IL2 series of flight sims has changed from patch to patch, and this has altered the way you have been able to use your aircraft in combat!

Aside from the glitches in various patches that let you do interesting things, you have to find a universal tactic that works across all.

Simply, there is energy fighting, and there is "turn-fighting".

If you know you have an E advantage over your target, then of course you are going to use energy tactics against them right?

The guy with the aircraft that can hold a tighter level turn should win the turning fight, and the aircraft that has better acceleration, or power to weight should win the energy fight.

Of course the skill of the pilot is such a large factor, that often you can shoot down a single engine fighter with an A-20 Bomber etc. just becuase your opponent is ****-poor.

In a really good fight though, where opponents are skilled and that skill is equal, then the more experienced will usually win, barring some sort of mistake.

Can aircraft type make a difference? Sure, if the pilot/s are smart enough to know what they are flying and flying against and how to exploit it you can always make the best of what your aircraft has to offer and what your opponents aircraft lacks.

In the 1vs1 duel where the same type of aircraft is used by both opponents, and those pilots are both fairly good then this might help:

The secret of advanced dogfighting that applies to this thread, is TIMING. And what you are timing is switching back and forth between energy and turning!

So you fly at your opponent and you start doing something and so does he. The pilot can do anything in this situation from executing a hard turn onto the opponents tail, or he can try to "out E" him and get an advantage.

The timing comes in by noticing what pattern your opponent is in and being the first to switch to another pattern.

For example, you are both scissoring and rolling around each other at low speed with your flaps down. At the moment you get out of sight for a second, before your opponent realizes it, you have sucked your flaps in, gone to full throttle, straightened out and climbing. By the time he sees what you are doing and follows suit to chase, you have gained a small E advantage because however long he has been at full throttle gaining E, you have been there just as long PLUS the time it took him to notice and switch to the new pattern. You initiated a new pattern and he has no choice but to switch to it also if he does not want you to gain an insurmoutable head-start in that pattern.

If you are both trying to get energy on the other, trying to get the other to stall first, maybe come down on them and get a shot, then the pilot who knows he is losing this fight should simply quit by flying straight and level at the first opportunity! You fly straight and level, watch your opponent do his thing, there he goes up, up into an almost stall. You are flying straight and level gaining E while flying away from him, now he will come down after you, if he has not lost track of you, if he has then he is in trouble now, but if he has not he will pursue you. But because you are have flown a long ways away from him and he has to enter level flight to catch up to you, in that level flight he will slowly bleed off the energy he had accumulated in his climb, while you are gaining energy in your level flight. You are slowly but surely equalizing your energy levels. Eventually they will be back to the level you both had when the fight started, and you can start it again if you like.

So it is not so much the tactics themselves that will do you well but it is the experience you have that lets you know when to turn and lose energy, or when to fly in a manner which gains you energy and when to trade one for the other that will give you an edge.

This has to become automatic to work, and it becomes automatic by doing it over and over again. So you have the idea, now go practice it.

12-06-2009, 02:53 PM
That's a good lesson there Jumoschwanz, I think that's just the problem for me, NOT thinking XD
I am somewhat familiar with E-managment but haven't given it that much of a thought. I definitely have to practice using and gaining energy to my advantage and timing especially. I think all these years have given me at least some intuitive factor to it, but there really is a room to get better =D

And Kalle, your post really intrigued me to practice that Immelmann as I've hardly ever flown that manouver, sounds fun and he**, on a sidenote EVERYTHING is fun in IL2 after purchasing CH-stick!

Thanks for quick and comprehensive answers! How about the split-S? As I said I find myself doing that A LOT when being jumped by a boom'n zoomer, is it good evasion manouver or is there other options to consider?


12-07-2009, 09:51 AM
A split-S is a pretty good defensive maneuvre. I use it a lot if things get messy. Usually I'll try to run away before they do.
Sometimes scissors are the better option, or even turning. Of course, all depends on the situation.

12-07-2009, 11:21 AM
While going vertically up, go into a fairly tight vertical barrel roll in the direction that acts against your followers engine torque. This forces him/her to use rudder, draining his speed off quickly.

It's also ok if it's against your engine torque, you just don't use rudder, whereas if they want to get a bead on you, they have to use rudder.

12-07-2009, 11:26 AM
Trying to catch an enemy AI that is flying up as high as he can before stalling is a good way to get myself into a flat spin by mistake, though usually I can avoid it. Generally when the enemy AI does it he won't swoop back down on me and fire, he just puts himself on a platter for me...so usually I'll try and get him, and usually I get the easy kill if I don't stall out, but again there's always the chance I'll get into a flat spin.

AI Spits and 109's LOVE to zoom up and down over and over like a yo-yo, it can be annoying because those planes keep and gain energy really well and can force you to bleed yours out then zip away while you're getting back up to speed.

12-07-2009, 02:31 PM
When you are being chased and have more energy and/or a plane with a lower stall speed, getting the pursuer to follow you vertically and he stalls out a second or two before you do, you slowly and carefully turn the nose back towards the ground and blast him to pieces http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

However it's practically a death sentence if there's anyone else around, or if you misjudge the pursuer's energy level

12-07-2009, 05:35 PM
You're better off flying loops or tilted 360's while keeping enough speed to maneuver the whole time if you can
beat the other guy at energy flying. It takes longer but you have time to build a bigger advantage. Just look
for the tops of his turns to be below yours and then pull a later one extra high so that he slips ahead and
below and you have your reversal in a safe controlled way instead of taking a gamble that leaves you motionless
in the air and unable to maneuver for long seconds before and after that.
You can build an energy advantage while pursuing through yoyos. The thing is to build the advantage while
watching to make sure that you can and being ready to bug out if you can't. Some people could have the best
plane going and still not know the tactics or much all about energy so don't go by the plane alone.

12-07-2009, 09:41 PM
A difficult and risky move.

I'd try something else first unless you have waaaaaaaay more E, in which case only the stupidest pursuer is going to try and follow you up. I experimented with it today in the P-40 and P-39 vs the Zero, it worked once but both a/c were to unstable in the recovery for the move to be of any use (mainly my sloppy flyinh probably).

The P-39 had a tantrum and impersonated a vinyl record and the P-40 built up too much speed coming out of the manouvre.